*TSX down 116.11 points at 13,322.93
*All 10 index sectors weaker
*China GDP growth hits 9.8 percent in Q4 (Updates with details, comments)
By Claire Sibonney
TORONTO, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index fell sharply on Thursday morning after sizzling Chinese economic growth data fanned fears of tighter monetary policy and weighed on commodity prices.
Chinese growth soared past forecasts to rise by 9.8 percent in the fourth quarter and inflation slowed less than expected, prompting a global sell-off of equities and commodities. [MKTS/GLOB] [ID:nTOE70J02S]
The Toronto index’s resource sectors were hardest hit as prices for oil and metals tumbled. Gold prices also fell [O/R] [METL/] [GOL/]
The index’s materials group dropped 2.3 percent and energy was down 0.8 percent.
Among key decliners were Teck Resources TCKb.TO, down almost 3 percent at C$60.52, Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO), down 2.5 at C$46.35, and Suncor Energy (SU.TO), 0.7 percent lower at C$37.61.
Fertilizer companies were also under pressure, with Potash Corp (POT.TO) losing 1.8 percent to C$163.20.
“People are nervous about China. It’s kind of ironic that they seem to be doing well and that’s causing inflation and everybody is worried about inflation because then they’re going to tighten and tightening reduces the rate of growth,” said John Kinsey, portfolio manager at Caldwell Securities.
“It’s kind of a strange thing ... problems in Europe are an ongoing concern as well.”
At 10:11 a.m. (1511 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 116.11 points, or 0.86 percent, at 13,322.93. All 10 index sectors were weaker, including financials, off 0.1 percent.
The decline extended Wednesday’s losses, unwinding an advance earlier in the week, when the index shot to its highest point since early September 2008.
The S&P/TSX composite has climbed steadily since last summer without many interruptions, though it is still well off its pre-financial crisis peak above 15,000.
($1=$1.00 Canadian) (Additional reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Peter Galloway)